Windows Server 2025 Insider Preview Now Released

Microsoft on Friday revealed the new name of its next Windows Server product, namely "Windows Server 2025."

The new product name wasn't really much of a surprise. Perhaps what's noteworthy is that Windows Server 2025 will still be released as a perpetual-license product, although Microsoft will add a subscription purchasing option, too. Many of Microsoft's server products have just become "Subscription Edition" products, which means that you pay monthly or annually for it, and also still have to install it on your premises infrastructure (as is the case with SharePoint Server Subscription Edition, for instance).

No Surprise
Microsoft had given a big hint about the Windows Server 2025 name during its "Ask Microsoft Anything" session earlier this week, where Jeff Woolsey, Microsoft's principal program manager for Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server, had published the following slide showing that new Windows Server products appear every two to three years:

[Click on image for larger view.] Figure 1. Microsoft releases new Windows Server products every two to three years (source Jan. 25 "Ask Microsoft Anything" Windows Server event).

Microsoft's last product, Windows Server 2022, reached general availability on Sept. 1, 2021. If that schedule holds true for the next product, then it's possible that Windows Server 2025 may get released sometime this fall. Microsoft hasn't suggested a release date for it, though.

Windows Server 2025 Insider Preview
Testers signed up for the Windows Server Insider program are now seeing the Windows Server 2025 product name, which is associated with preview build 26040, as announced on Friday.

This build is introducing so-called "Windows Server flighting," which will remove the tedium for Windows Server Insiders who have to reinstall the server when new builds arrive (every two weeks).

Windows Server flighting will let users move to the next product release via "in-place upgrades," a process long available for Windows client upgrades. An in-place upgrade replaces the operating system's underlying bits, without having to first wipe the old bits. Microsoft described setting up the flighting feature in this Tech Community post, which also profiled some newly available SMB over QUIC port options available with the preview.

Microsoft explained in an announcement on Windows Server flighting that the upgrade process is manual (unless automatic updates are turned on) using the Settings menu. Windows Server flighting, moreover, is "only available in preview builds." Because Settings is used, Windows Server flighting is "currently only for Windows Server with Desktop Experience."

Coming Features
Microsoft's Friday announcements didn't describe any new Windows Server 2025 features. All of them -- such as the easier upgrades, the pay-as-you-go subscription option, hotpatching for all, SMB over QUIC, Active Directory page sizing enhancements, and storage perks -- were previously described in a Microsoft Ignite session last year, as summarized in this Redmond article.

Microsoft's new Windows Server 2025 features show up first for testing, though, for the participants in the Windows Server Insider program.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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